Jackson County

Biography - John Feezor

JOHN G. FEEZOR has been engaged in operating his present farm of two hundred and twenty acres on section 32, township 11, range 5, for the past forty years, and is well and favorably known throughout this community as an enterprising farmer and honorable business man, and one who is public-spirited. Since 1861 he has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, having been Class-leader for many years, and in 1884 was licensed to exhort and soon after was regularly ordained as local preacher. He has served the township as Constable, and special Deputy Sheriff for eight years.

Our subject was born in Marshall County, Ky., in 1833, and is a son of George Feezor, who was born in Randolph County, N. C., in 1801. The paternal great-grandfather of our subject took part in the War of the Revolution, in which he rose to the rank of Captain, lighting on the side of the Colonists. He came from Germany before the war, but was not one of the imported soldiers of the British Government, who were sworn to support the crown. The grandfather of our subject married Elizabeth Cole, a lady of Irish descent, who was born about 1780. The young couple removed from North Carolina to Bedford County, Tenn., taking up Government land on Duck River, when the country was entirely wild. They reared a family of three sons and five daughters, of whom our subject's father was the eldest. The latter died at the age of sixty-eight years, his widow surviving him until 1869, dying at their old home when about eighty years old.

George Feezor was married in Tennessee to Miss Mary Ivy, of North Carolina, the latter only seventeen years of age. They remained on the old home farm until 1831, when they removed to Graves County, Ky., and about one year later to Marshall County, in the same State, where they bought a settler's improvement and entered one hundred and sixty acres. Later Mr. Feezor purchased two other quarter-sections of land, thus becoming the owner of four hundred and eighty acres. He cleared a large farm of some three hundred acres, where he resided until 1869, when he departed this life aged sixty-eight years. His widow survived him for about eight years, and was then laid to rest by the side of her husband and her parents in a burial-ground which Mr. Feezor had set a part on his farm for the purpose.

Our subject is the fifth in order of birth in a family of six sons and four daughters. Three brothers and two sisters are yet living, as follows: Martha, wife of Isaac Shemwell, a farmer in Graves County, Ky.; Nathan, a wealthy farmer and speculator in stock, and a prominent man in Marshall County, Ky.; George, who is also a farmer in the same neighborhood; Eliza J., wife of Rufus Stafford, a well-known farmer of Union Precinct, Pope County; and William C, who is engaged in carrying on a farm in Ballard County, Ky.

Our subject's childhood and boyhood days were spent on his father's farm, where he had but limited chances to obtain an education. The schoolhouse of that day was of a very primitive kind, being built of logs and rudely furnished. After he had arrived at his majority, in 1854, his father sent him to school for two months, in one of the first free schools in the district. During this limited time he mastered Smiley's arithmetic and helped the teacher in the large school, there being over sixty pupils in the building, which was only 20x22 feet. Leaving home in his twentysecond year, he landed in this county in December, 1854, and raised a crop on land owned by his uncle, Martin Cowgill. In 1855-56 he taught in Massac County for eight and a-half months, in the first free school in that district. He received for his services $30 a month, and in spite of his deficient education, he was quite a successful teacher. He was a good penman at that time, and delighted to wield the quill.

On the 1st of July, 1856, Mr. Feezor married Mary R. E. McNew, who was born in Tennessee. The young couple settled on a farm of one hundred and twenty acres near his present home. In March, 1854, he had taken up forty acres of this from the Government at $1.25 per acre. A few months later this land came into the market at a shilling an acre. In the spring of 1855 he purchased eighty acres of a settler for $1.75 per acre. As before stated, he resided on this property until 1872, when he removed to his present farm. March 7, 1877, he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died in her forty-first year. She bore him five sons and five daughters, three of whom died in infancy. The living members of the family are as follows: Dora A., wife of William Christman, of Jackson County, Ill.; George C, who is engaged in farming on the place adjoining the homestead; Thomas B., who is a farmer, and has been Constable and Collector of this township for several years; Mary A., wife of William Steiger, a farmer of this township; Lewis W., who has been a teacher in Ballard County, Ky., for the past three years; Martha C, who resides at home, as does also the youngest of the family, Lizzie, now eighteen years of age and attending school.

Mr. Feezor was again united in marriage, on October 5, 1879, Mrs. Mary Reagan, nee Ogden, then becoming his wife. She was reared in Calloway County, Ky., and came to Illinois when in her young womanhood, in the year 1858. Our subject has been a Freemason since 1870, and though formerly a Republican, he is now a member of the Prohibition party. For many terms he was a School Director, and has always taken great interest in educational matters.

Extracted 05 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, published in 1893, pages 252-253.

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